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You may have heard of some of the major updates with the government’s 2021 budget that was announced recently, especially around housing.

Moving homes during the pandemic had left many people hesitant due to the uncertainty of employment and many other factors. However, Rishi Sunak’s 2021 budget announcement has given home buyers a fantastic opportunity to proceed.

One of the government’s goals for housing is to turn generation rent into “generation buy”. With 1 in 5 UK households living in private rented accommodation - an increase of 10% from 2000 to 2017, it is clear that buying a home has become harder for people.

The measures Rishi Sunak outlined are to help would-be home buyers. This includes the extension to the stamp duty holiday and bringing back 95% mortgages. 

Here at Harpers & Co, we will be breaking down what each of these points mean for those possibly wanting to move home.

Extended stamp duty holiday

The stamp duty holiday was originally introduced in July 2020. It was set up to encourage house moves after the Covid-19 lockdown.

The original deadline for the stamp duty holiday was the 31st of March. However, after months of rumours and campaigns, this has now been extended again.

Until the 30th of June, the first £500,000 spent on a property will be tax-free - producing a saving of up to £15,000. After that, the threshold will drop to £250,000 until the 30th of September. It will then return to its normal level of £125,000. However, first-time buyers have a separate threshold, set at £300,000, and that will come back into play after June.

The extension was announced due to the concerns raised regarding thousands of property purchases that could fall through due to delays in mortgage approvals and conveyancing.

With this announcement, Rishi Sunak stated: “The stamp duty cut has helped hundreds of thousands of people buy a home and supported the economy at a critical time. But due to the sheer volume of transactions we’re now seeing, many purchases won’t complete in time for March”. 

Here at Harpers & Co, we would greatly encourage anyone who is thinking of moving to make the most out of the extended stamp duty holiday. You can give us a call on 01322 524 425 to speak to our friendly, expert team if you would like to find out more about stamp duty and moving home with us. Alternatively, you can book an appointment to see us here. 

95% mortgage scheme

Another significant announcement made by Mr Sunak was the reintroduction of a new mortgage guarantee scheme to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder. 

This involves the government guaranteeing 95% mortgages. This means mortgage lenders will have the confidence to reinstate the low-deposit deals, which had been withdrawn at the start of the pandemic. 

Home buyers can opt-in for this scheme if they are struggling to save for a higher deposit, providing a greater opportunity for those who cannot raise these funds easily.

The government says that major banks including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, NatWest and Santander have all committed to launching 95% deals from April.

Disclaimer: It is important to note, this scheme won’t necessarily make properties more affordable to first-time buyers; it will provide the opportunity to borrow more to afford a property. 

Harpers & Co Estate Agents

Here at Harpers & Co, our team can give you expert advice if you are thinking of buying or selling, helping you to make the most out of government schemes based on the situation you are in.

We are fast becoming one of the leading Residential & Commercial Estate Agents in South East London and Bexley and are widely known as the most "proactive" Estate Agents and property consultants in the area. We offer excellent quality and efficient service and are open six days a week from 8:30am to 6:00pm. Harpers & Co are open for business and willing to listen and help our customers. Please get in touch with our friendly team here to see how we can help you find your dream home.


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